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Do Women and Men Have the Same Patterns of Multiple Occupational Carcinogenic Exposures? Results from a Cohort of Cancer Patients



Do Women and Men Have the Same Patterns of Multiple Occupational Carcinogenic Exposures? Results from a Cohort of Cancer Patients



Annals of Work Exposures and Health 62(4): 450-464



Complex exposure situations are frequent at the workplace, but few studies have characterized multiple occupational carcinogenic exposures (MOCE) and their gendered differences across jobs' characteristics. We assessed MOCE separately in male and female jobs and identified patterns of MOCE at job level. Participants (834 men and 183 women) were cancer patients recruited between March 2002 and December 2010 in the ongoing SCOP93 cohort study, Seine-Saint-Denis department, France. Job histories were collected through personal interviews, and carcinogenic exposures were assessed by a multidisciplinary expert committee using a list of 53 carcinogens. Proportion of MOCE (i.e. ≥2 carcinogens) was assessed for male and female jobs separately. Principal component analysis combined with hierarchical ascendant classification was used to identify patterns of MOCE. Among the 5202 male jobs and 885 female jobs, respectively 42 and 9% were multi-exposed. Blue-collar workers and jobs in the construction and industry sectors had the highest rates of MOCE, contrasting with jobs held in recent periods (≥1997) and by patients aged ≥45 years at job start. A gradient of MOCE was also observed according to occupational segregation for both men and women. Eight patterns of MOCE were identified among male jobs: widespread carcinogens, mixed silica dust, heavy metals/combustion products, organic compounds/radiation, metal working, solvents/heavy metals, wood dust/formaldehyde/pesticides, and fuel exhausts. Three patterns of MOCE were found among female jobs: biological/organic compounds, industrial working, and fuel exhausts. Some patterns of MOCE were job-specific, whereas other patterns were found across different occupations. These results suggest that patterns of MOCE partly differ between men and women. They stress the importance of gendering multiple exposure assessment studies and point out the inadequacy of occupational disease compensation systems based on a single factor and non-gendered approach of carcinogenesis, ignoring differences between men and women in complex occupational exposure situations.

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Accession: 058768942

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PMID: 29471379

DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx116


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